KALAMAZOO, MI–Carolina lost star jammer Sheeza Freak to knee injury in yesterday’s bout against Tri-City, but it didn’t stop them turning in a dominating performance against a penalty-prone Burning River side. They ran up a 147-75 halftime lead and while scoring slowed for both sides in the second half, the ratio remained about the same: by the final whistle, Carolina had taken the win–and 7th place–with 250 points to Burning River’s 131.
Burning River drew first blood with two single-pass jams, holding Carolina scoreless–but four minutes in, Carolina found themselves with a power jam and a 4-2 pack advantage, and flipped the script to make it 19-9 in their favour.
The teams added 4 apiece in turn over the next two jams, but then it was another Carolina power jam–again with a significant pack advantage–as Cupquake landed in the penalty box. Katie Clysmic added 20 before Cupquake returned to play–and then got stifled attempting her initial pass and picked up a cut to return to the box just before Katie called the jam.
Ava Gore made short work of the short Burning River pack, stretching the lead to 66-13 before the jam was whistled dead for an injury to West Nel Virus with 21:30 in the period.
Working with a full pack, Burning River were able to pick up two lead jammer calls in a row with T-Wrecks and Maulibu Brawl adding 10 points to their team’s tally. But then it was back to Burning River blocker penalties and Carolina lead calls.
They’d stretched their lead to 90-25 before Sugalumps cut her way to the penalty box with the Burning River star, joining two of her blockers; Caddy Compton pushed Carolina’s score well into the triple digits at 115-25 with 13 minutes left in the half. Two jams later, the margin was in the triple digits too.
Sterling defense from …ooh SHINEE and West Nel Virus completely killed a power jam, repeatedly recycling the Carolina jammer and forcing her to call for 0-0. Two jams later, Shinee was able to force a cut on an unopposed Caddy Compton to free T-Wrecks from the box–and was then handed the star to add points directly. That made it 144-34 with 5 remaining in the period.
The next jam featured spectacular defense from Burning River, with decibelle, The Eduskater and Mae Burnya battering Ginger Clobbers to let Cupquake put up a natural 35 points. Ginger was slow to get up after a big hit that left her straddling the inside line; when she rose, she immediately went back down in an apparent attempt to avoid a cut as her jammer ref began signaling no pass, no penalty. By the end of the jam, the score stood at 144-69–and at halftime, 147-75.
In the second jam of the second half, Burning River lost their jammer and three blockers, some repeatedly, to the penalty box; decibelle was the only Burning River blocker on the track for most of that jam as blockers came and went from the box around her, and could barely slow Ava Gore, who pushed the score to 175-82. In that jam, Sugalumps fouled out, reducing Burning River’s jammer options for the remainder of the game.
Halfway through the period, Burning River sent out the Eduskater with the jammer star for the first time–and Katie Clysmic landed in the penalty box on her initial pass, handing her a power jam. It was short lived, though, as the Eduskater picked up a track cut on her own initial pass to free Katie. …ooh SHINEE was able to repeatedly recycle her back to keep Katie in the pack until the Eduskater was released and forced a star pass to Neuralize HER. That made it 195 for Carolina, 102 for Burning River, with 13 left in the game.
With 5 minutes left to play, Carolina put the final nails in Burning River’s coffin as Katie Clysmic picked up a power jam over Cupquake, seated in the box after her fifth track cut penalty of the game. That situation was only exacerbated by stalwart blocker …ooh SHINEE fouling out and at the jam’s conclusion, Carolina led 238-121. They ultimately took the win, 250-131.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the final score; Burning River finished with 131 points, not 151. DNN regrets the error.